Anthony Maes (Waregem, BE): 1st National Champion Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2021

Third time’s a charm! After a national victory and a national KBDB ace pigeon, in 2021 Anthony Maes finally added a national KBDB title to his palmares.

There is no denying the supremacy of the modern Anthony Maes pigeon in the past season, simply phenomenal. With a 1st National, 1st + 2nd National Ace Pigeon KBDB, and the title 1st National Champion KBDB, Anthony and Chantal stood on the highest KBDB podium spot a staggering 3 addition to a plethora of other titles and ace pigeons on the provincial and national level. The highlights of this sensational series speak for themselves:

1st Nat. Champion KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Old birds & Yearlings 2021
1st Nat. Ace pigeon KBDB Long Distance Old birds in 2019 – Bonten Crack
1st Nat. Argenton 21,644 pigeons in 2016 – Sero Sero

1st Best Argenton racer 2021 – Strong Bear
1st Best Bourges racer 2020-2021 – Fine Fleur
2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Old birds 2021 – Seven
5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Old birds 2020 – Blue Velvet
8th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Young birds 2015
12th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Yearlings 2020
15th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Yearlings 2020 – Fine Fleur
29th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Yearlings 2021 – Dua Lipa

Highly impressive. A success story that started around 2005 in Roeselare and reached its highpoint from 2007 onwards after the move to Waregem. What follows is a piece of pigeon racing history in a nutshell...

A women's touch…

When talking about Anthony Maes, we must mention his wife Chantal as well. Chantal is pivotal in the successes they achieve with their pigeons. Together, Anthony and Chantal run a fruit & vegetable wholesale company. In the search for more space they moved from Roeselare to Waregem in 2007. Moving into a renovated barn, this also led to a serious career change. New, modern pigeon lofts were built of which Chantal would be in charge. At the time, Anthony would clock 15 to 16 hours at their company...leaving little time to race pigeons. Racing just to participate is not why they keep pigeons. A brainstorm session lead to the decision; Chantal would focus (nearly) fulltime on the pigeons. Something that was quickly noticeable in the region and later also on a national level. 

'Provinciaal' leads the way

With the Provinciaal BE04-3108212 – winner of 1st Prov. Chateauroux against 7,206 pigeons in 2005 with an average speed of 1150 m/min, still on the lofts in Roeselare - Anthony and Chantal were immediately successful. This Provinciaal would become the absolute stock pigeon of their colony. Unfortunately, he died too early during action. However, with 4 of his descendants, Anthony and Chantal started over in 2007 and began their rush to the national top from the lofts in Waregem.  

A direct son of Provinciaal - Superkweker BE05-3072806 - is paired to BE04-3144238 Sonja (originally Charles Matthys- Houtave, BE). A mighty stock pair that can be found back in nearly every Maes super pigeon. They are parents of Kathy (mother of Sero Sero) and above all Bonten Provinciaal BE06-3143261, the current stock pigeon. 

They didn't have to wait long before continuing their success on the lofts in Waregem. From 2009 onwards the 1st Provincial wins followed each other in quick succession . In 2010, Braven  (grandson Provinciaal and full brother of Bonten Provinciaal) won the 1st Provincial Blois, and also this crack would go on to become a breeding star. This success was followed by provincial wins on Montluçon, Bordeaux, Gueret, and Chateauroux. Chantal and Anthony Maes became 'rising stars', and got the attention of their competitors. When racing wonder Papillon came about, the Maes pigeons were definitely the ones to beat.      

Superlady Papillon wins 2 x 1s Provincial within one week

It seemed as if they pushed the pedal to the metal even harder in this period. From a Brother Sonja BE04-3144281 x Beauty 847 BE11-3168847 (daughter Bonten Provinciaal), a new racing star was born. She goes by the beautiful name, Papillon: 

-Papillon BE13-3002971.

25/04/15  Clermont         Provincial  8,382 p.  64
09/05/15  Fontenay         Provincial  9,261 p.  79
17/05/15  Tours               Provincial  5,697 p.    2  - 0.
30/05/15  Bourges I         Provincial  2,365 p.    - 0.0423%
06/06/15  Châteauroux I  Provincial  3,078 p.   1  - 0.0325%
13/06/15  Guéret             Provincial  1,769 p.  14  - 0.7914%

What a phenomenal crack! Within 4 weeks time she won a 2nd, 1st and another 1st Provincial. On Bourges she had a 5 minute lead on the whole competition, and was fastest of 4,466 pigeons. Moreover, she flew into the spotlight on a national level as she was ranked 1st Ace PIPA ranking across 3 National races after Bourges I, Chateauroux I and Gueret. It was reason for Anthony and Chantal to doubt what they would do with this super hen...could they risk racing her further? Something that didn't turn out well with Provinciaal. After several days of thinking, they decided to retire her from the racing team and transferred her to the breeding lofts. The regret came too late, after the decision was already made. Provincial Tours would not be considered for the National KBDB Ace Pigeon competition and Papillon missed one race to be able to compete. However, on a Provincial level this race did count which resulted in Papillon becoming 1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance Old birds KBDB West-VI. 

Sero Sero takes 1st National victory in Waregem

A second leading figure in 2015 - born in 2013, the same year as Papillon - was the blue cock Sero Sero BE13-3079100, named after the last two digits of his ring number, and grandson of Superkweker 806/05 (through his mother 'Kathy'). Where Papillon won the title 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance Old birds KBDB, Sero Sero followed in her slipstream with the 3rd Prov. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance Old birds KBDB 2015. This star already showed his class in 2014 with a 2nd Prize on Clermont 203 p., 39th Prov. Chateaudun 3,101 p. and especially with a 4th National Châteauroux 21,515 p. He continued with these stellar performances in 2015 (see photo for his results). 

Where Anthony and Chantal decided to retire Papillon from the racing team, Sero Sero was allowed to continue showing his racing skills in 2016. He didn't disappoint. On the first large national race of the 2016 season on which he was basketed, he immediately took a 28th National Chateauroux against 25,126 pigeons. The following national race he won another top prize, this time a 39th Provincial Argenton against 2,644 pigeons. Was this a prelude of what was still to come later that season?

Anthony and Chantal's gut feeling became reality on the memorable national Argenton of July 9th 2016. Sero Sero was no match for the rest of the field and won the 1st National Argenton against 9,228 pigeons, and finished fastest of all 21,644 basketed pigeons. It was the first national triumph in the youthful pigeon racing career of Anthony and Chantal!

After this feat, Sero Sero was sold and was moved abroad. However, before he left, several descendants were bred from this mighty racer. Superior offspring! The hereditary power of Sero Sero is reflected in the results from 2020 and 2021. Although we must mention the achievements of another new super crack which preceded these results.  

Bonten Crack is crowned 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB

However, not everything was rosy. After a new consultation with the lung doctor in 2016, Anthony was advised to stop with pigeons and ban them from his life indefinitely. Quitting his life's work didn't sit well with him. Also because it would mean Chantal her pigeon skills, joy and racing excitement would come to a halt as well. Therefore, they decided to continue with a smaller team of pigeons in 2017. Chantal, even more so than before, became the beating heart of their pigeon colony. The skilled fancier that she is, it didn't take long before the 1st Provincial wins rolled in once again. In 2018, they had to deal with another disappointment. Due to an outbreak of bird flu, the whole region couldn't race for 5 weeks at the end of June and the whole of July. It meant the end of the old birds and yearling season, just when a new super racer was standing up. In 2018, Bonten Crack BE17-3033516 quickly showed his potential with:

Chateauroux Nat. 13,098 p.  3rd
Argenton       Nat   9.859 p.   86th
Chateauroux Zone 8.080 p.  44th

The short season may have been a blessing in disguise. Bonten Crack started the following year, well rested and eager to race in the 2019 season, all great champions..out for revenge for his missed opportunities. 

That Bonten Crack had impressed his owners was confirmed on the first national long distance race in 2019, on which he was basketed as 1st nominated pigeon. The faith Anthony and Chantal had in him was rewarded and he won 12th National Limoges I against 13,569 pigeons. To not strain their 2 year-old crack too much, he was raced on national Argenton in between as a preparation for national Limoges II. On Argenton he achieved another outstanding performance, taking 165th National against 15,235 pigeons. Hereafter, on national Limoges II - flown under beautiful, but very warm summer weather with an Eastern wind - he struck once again...taking 2nd National against 9,661 pigeons. How close can one be to a national victory? Unfortunately they just missed it.

Anthony and Chantal were stuck with the usual dilemma; continue racing this star or not? They were in doubt for 2 weeks. No doubts about the condition of Bonten Crack, he was in super shape and stayed that way. In the end they decided to basket him on Libourne. This was the race. Although, they started to worry when the weather forecast on Thursday (the day after basketing) changed, and was no longer so bright. The forecast predicted a lot of rain on Saturday, and it was a relief to see that Libourne would be postponed. Sunday the bad weather was gone, and the wind below Paris turned and now came from the West. Not very advantageous for the region in which Anthony Maes lives. When the messages came in of the first arrivals near the border, their hearts started pounding faster. Stress...this was the moment it had to happen. When the watchers caught a glimpse of him, Bonten Crack rocketed directly to the loft. Phew! With a 13th National, Bonten Crack had a super coefficient of 0,39% and was in 'pole position' to win the title, 1st National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2019. Later, no pigeon could match these performances and Anthony and Chantal had their well deserved 1st National KBDB Ace Pigeon. 

Bonten Crack became 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old birds KBDB 2019 with the following 3 sensational results:

Limoges Nat  13,569 p. 12th
Limoges Nat    9,661 p.  2nd
Libourne Nat   4,605 p. 13th

Crack BE14-3006002: father to Bonten Crack 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon LD KBDB 2019

Another example which supports that; cracks descend from cracks. Father to Bonten Crack is Crack BE14-3006002 - who's name says enough about his racing qualities - a super pigeon and grandson to stock pigeon Bonten Provinciaal 261/06. Mother to Bonten Crack is Bontje Staf BE11-3073396 a full sister to the father of Sero Sero. The apple doesn't fall far from this legendary tree. With Bonten Crack their dream became reality...winning the title General Provincial Champion KBDB West-VI 2019 was the cherry on top of the season. 

1st National Champion and 2nd National Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2021

The climax of this success story came in 2021. A new super season with many 1st Provincial victories, during which new 'winners' and 'super pigeons' showed themselves. 

In 2020, it became clear that Anthony and Chantal had a new generation of super pigeons at their disposal. The weekly dominance of the racing team in 2020 resulted in an impressive series of titles on a Provincial and even National level: 

1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Olds ’20 (Blue Velvet)
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Yearlings ’20 (Cent et Deux)
2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance Yearlings ’20 (Fine Fleur)
2nd General Provincial Champion KBDB ’20
2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Allround Old birds and Yearlings ’20 (Cent et Deux)

With Blue Velvet BE18-3073699 (granddaughter Superkweker 806/05) they also won the title 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2020. 

In 2021, they continued performing exceptionally well with this new generation of 'winners' and 'super pigeons' that had risen. Super pigeons like (Triple) Seven, Fine Fleur, Cent et Deux, Blue Velvet, de Zevenhonderd, Ace-wonder, Souterraintje, Sky… nearly all bred in direct line of Sero Sero and Papillon, or the old stock of Bonte Provinciaal, Superkweker and Provinciaal...crossed with pigeons from Gaby Vandenabeele (the bloodlines of Rudy, King Kong, etc.) 

This youthful talent lead the Anthony Maes colony to the summit of his pigeon sport career. After a 1st National victory in 2016 with Sero Sero, the 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB in 2019 with Bonten Crack, Anthony and Chantal stepped onto the highest podium spot once again, this time as newly crowned 1st National Champions Heavy Middle Distance Old birds KBDB 2021. A trilogy completed.

A hen that played an important part in this title was (Triple) Seven BE18-3132777 - a granddaughter of Sero Sero and a half sister of Papillon - who took 1st Prov. Argenton 2,898 p. and 2nd Nat. Zone La Souterraine 1,183 p....and won the title 2nd National Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2021. 

Furthermore, Fine Fleur BE19-3012087 (1st Best Bourges racer 2020-2021, daughter Perfect Sero Sero and a granddaghter of Sero Sero), Cent et Deux BE19-3012102, Strong Bear BE20-3010290, Bourgeske Sero Sero BE19-2013169 (daughter of Joël x Blue Wonder, and daughter Sero Sero and half sister of Papillon and Seven)… all contributed significantly to the national title in 2021. 

Lastly, we would like to mention the super talented Dua Lipa BE20-3010374, who became 29th Nat. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance YL KBDB 2021. 

Dua Lipa is a daughter of Roxy Papillon BE15-3070300 paired to Mother Yanagold BE14-3022361 (Yanagold was 12th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB).

What makes this all the more impressive, is that on a national level the lofts of Anthony Maes are not located particularly advantageous. Their pigeons battle against the masses, weather and wind on races of 480 to 500km. No easy task. Nonetheless, they were crowned 'National NR. 1' of the Heavy Middle Distance KBDB with old birds and yearlings. A phenomenal achievement. Hats off! 

Top references from other lofts 

Other lofts also profited form the quality that resides within Anthony Maes his colony. These pigeons have great heritability, winners mentality, soft plumage, supple muscles and eyes which radiate vitality. These pigeons are characterized by their eyes, that look like they have been painted on with the brightest, thickest paint, a quality many fanciers admire. This resulted in countless fanciers traveling to Waregem to strengthen their own colonies, with success. Some of the most appealing references are:

1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance - Roger & Jurgen Vervaeke
1st Nat. Chateauroux 8,640 Old birds – Roger Velle
1st Olympiad pigeon 2019 Poznan - Jo & Raf Herbots
3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance 2021 - Team Debo
6th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance 2020 - Gommaire Verbruggen
10th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Heavy Middle Distance 2020 - Gommaire Verbruggen